Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Goodbye Blogger

When I started my experiment with WordPress I was motivated by two things especially: the need to do simple back-ups of the blog and the desire for cleaner and more professional look. Along the way I discovered all sorts of other advantages and disadvantages to the switch, but most of those balance each other out, and it is these two that remain the most important.

I was wrong about one of them, however. It turns out Blogger now can do simple backups. I think this is a relatively new feature (or I'm just an idiot), but I don't think many people are aware of it yet. For those of you who are still on Blogger, then, I strongly encourage you to make regular use of this feature, which can be found on your Dashboard under Settings. I've tested it (here) and it does work as intended. Unlike with WordPress, you can still only import posts from other Blogger accounts (no transfers from other platforms), and there is not yet any way to automate the process, but the ability to manually export and import your posts and comments is a major improvement and effectively eliminates one of my big reasons for switching.

If that is a wash, however, the other reason for switching remains. As the poll shows, most people prefer the look and feel of WordPress (by a margin of 3 to 1), and I certainly do. Blogger, admittedly, allows greater freedom to customize your template, but WordPress needs less customization--many of their templates look great unmodified. Alex suggested that I try some third-party templates to find a better look for Blogger, but after spending much of the last week trying, I've finally given up.

There are literally hundreds of custom templates available for free online, but Blogger's system is so buggy that you are lucky if you can get one to upload, and will have to delete all your widgets to do it. I tried dozens of them and almost every time, Blogger would run into some error (bX-pwned) and the upload would fail. Judging by the fact that the Help boards are flooded with unanswered complaints about these errors, it's clear that this is an ongoing problem. For someone like me, with only minimal knowledge of html (let alone xml), it's just not worth the effort, nor the risk, to mess with that.

So I'm moving to WordPress for good. I will not be deleting this blog here, but from now on all new posts will appear exclusively on WordPress. Please remember to update your blogrolls, RSS feeders and/or bookmarks (unless, of course, you've been looking for an excuse to delete me), the new address is: http://corthodoxy.wordpress.com/

Thanks everyone for a great 18 months!

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